In Sling Blade (1996), Karl kills Dixon with a sling blade:

Karl: I went in the house...and I hit Jesse Dixon upside the head with it... knocked him off my mother. I reckon that didn't satisfy me... so I hit him again in the neck with the sharp edge... and just plumb near cut his head off, killed him.

What does "plumb near" mean? Is he just emphasizing that he very swiftly cut Dixon's head off?

2 Answers 2


It means "very nearly". He almost cut his head off.
The word plumb can mean completely, but that is contradicted by near, so in this sentence plumb is an intensifier for the word near.


I encourage you to check dictionaries before asking. The usage you're looking for is somewhat colloquial and is an adverb; here are a few entries:

  • Merriam-Webster: chiefly dialectal : to a complete degree : ABSOLUTELY
  • Lexico: North American [as submodifier] To a very high degree; extremely. ‘they must both be plumb crazy’

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